Skip to main content

Full text of "Verdict On India"

See other formats

GEXTLEMBX  Or THE  PEESS                               87

my opinions reflected official policy, and even that I had some
sort of power to cnegotiate*..,though with whom the negotiations
were to take place, and what we were to negotiate about, was
not; stated.

Aixd so, a few days later, I dragged myself out of bed, was
carried down, the stairs, and driven, in an ambulance to meet the
gentlemen of the Indian press.1

* Indian Journalists Run AmokóBerkley Nichols Courts
Eater Experience/2
That was the general way in which the press described the
affair. It was somewhat of an, understatement.
I hobbled into a room that was packed from floor to ceiling
vrith journalists, most of them young and all of them, so it seemed,
in a state of hysteria. They crowded round the table, twining
round my knee>, and breathing down my neck. I was almost the
only white person present apart from the Chairman, by name Mr.
Homiman. Por many years he has been the editor of a violently
anti-British evening paper called The Bombay Sentinel, and every
evening he regales the city with a column on the front page
entitled 'Twilight Twitters/ The title is apt. The 'twilight' is
an apposite description of the writer's mentality, the s twitters*
is a just comment on his style.
Needless to say, his column is a huge success.
It may be gathered that I did not take to Mr. Homiman. That
is quite true. It is equally evident that he did not take to me. For
weeks after the meeting, he filled his paper with gibes, lampoons
and insults. No sneer was too cheap, nor rumour too fantastic, for
The Bombay Sentinel, The most sensational canard which his paper
produced was its assertion, on the front page, that I had been
1 That is to say, of the Hindu Indian press.    The Hindus have nearly all the
money and therefore make nearly all the noise.    By comparison, the 100 million
Muslims  are very inadequately represented.     Their chief organ is Dawn, and
though it is in no way pro-British, it treats its opponents with consistent courtesy.
Doubtless there are Extremist Muslim papers, but compared with the shrieking
sheets of the Hindus, the Muslim press is sober, sane, and above all, straight.
2 Kaiser-I-Htnd, Mav 5th, 1943.